Matthijs de Ligt keeps Bayern Munich top with stunning Freiburg winner
Matthijs de Ligt hammered in the only goal as Bayern Munich edged Freiburg to defend top spot on Super Saturday in the Bundesliga.
Freiburg 0-1 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 de Ligt 52' (assist: Musiala)
Eliminated from the DFB Cup by Freiburg in midweek, Bayern set about redressing the balance as Serge Gnabry forced a flying save out of Mark Flekken inside 10 minutes. The record champions continued to dictate the play, with Sadio Mane dinking just past the far post in a promising one-on-one situation - but Freiburg were always a threat on the counter. Joshua Kimmich stopped Christian Günter finding an unmarked red shirt on one such occasion, before the Freiburg captain blazed over from a tight angle on another. Between times, Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard saw a deflected effort from a Kimmich corner spooned off the goal line and into the grateful arms of Flekken, who blocked at the feet of Leroy Sane soon after. Ritsu Doan went agonisingly close to giving Freiburg a smash-and-grab half-time lead, but his shot on the stretch after dogged play by Michael Gregoritsch came back off the foot of Yann Sommer's left-hand post.
Freiburg's resistance was broken early in the second half when de Ligt thundered a swerving 20-yard drive into the top corner. Bayern tried to double down on their advantage as Mane's diving header drew a sensational reaction save from Flekken, before Sane landed an effort onto the roof of the net following a fine solo run. Bayern goalkeeper Sommer had been largely untested, but pulled off a contender for save of the season with 70 minutes gone. Diving to his left, he adjusted his trailing right leg to prevent substitute Roland Sallai's deflected strike finding the back of the net. Sane flunked another breakaway one-on-one opportunity after being played through by Gnabry, and was almost made to pay when Nicolas Höfler sent an 89th-minute header narrowly wide. Bayern got the win over the line, though, to stay two points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who beat third-placed Union Berlin 2-1 in the day's other top-four encounter.
- Thomas Tuchel has won his first two Bundesliga games as Bayern coach.
- De Ligt scored his third Bundesliga goal. All have been away from home, with two from outside the penalty area.
- The team top of the table after Matchday 27 has gone on to win the title in each of the last 15 seasons. The last pre-Matchday 27 leader not to end up as champions was Schalke, who finished two points behind VfB Stuttgart in 2006/07.
- Freiburg's Vincenzo Grifo made his 200th Bundesliga appearance.
- Freiburg have only won one of their last 40 Bundesliga games against Bayern (D8, L31). They had a 2-1 success at home in May 2015, but are winless in their last 14.
- Mane scored one of his six Bundesliga goals to date in the reverse fixture - a 5-0 win - but hasn't found the net on the road since hitting a brace in Bochum on Matchday 3 (21 August 2022).
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Watch: de Ligt: "You always need a bit of luck"
Freiburg: Flekken - Sildillia (Kübler 62'), Ginter, Gulde (Lienhart 36'), Günter (c) - Eggestein, Höfler - Doan (Weißhaupt 84') Höler (Jeong 84'), Grifo (Sallai 62') - Gregoritsch
Unused subs: Uphoff, Schmid, Petersen, Wagner
Out: Kyereh (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Christian Streich
Bayern: Sommer - Cancelo (Stanisic 89'), Pavard, de Ligt, Davies - Kimmich - Sane (Mazraoui 89'), Musiala (Goretzka 68'), Müller (c) (Gravenberch 76'), Gnabry - Mane
Unused subs: Ulreich, Sarr, Blind, Coman
Out: Choupo-Moting (knee), Hernandez (knee), Neuer (broken leg), Tel (muscular), Upamecano (suspended)
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
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